So, I’m convinced that all any model really wants is to be treated like one of us “normals”. The latest madcap assignment on 10 Things I Hate About You Weekend At Bernie’s Jane By Design is to babysit a model that’s not much older than Jane, who just happens to be pretending to be in her 20s. No bigs, right? Well – not unless you’re GROUNDED! In a lovely (if not totally obvious) parallel, Jane is trying to rein in her young ward while Handsome Ben does his best to be the cool older brother who also happens to be Jane’s legal guardian. Meanwhile, Billy’s still having an identity crisis while knee deep in chinos, but still manages to help Jane like the reliable big-haired puppy we know and love. However, he does wear something unforgivable this episode. It’s a heavy week.

 

Alright Gray, let’s chat about something that’s been on my mind: your patterns. I find it surprising that for the rest of the season, the producers have you plastered over the opening credits in that blue jumpsuit of a dress, in such an odd hue with, what seems to me, black leather piping. You look like you’re about to hop into a NASCAR and thrown down a few hundred laps.

However, I prefer that over this tribal nightmare that you’re rocking to the left. Where did that come from and who designed that hallucinogenic Shaker-inspired sarong? The pattern completely shadows any shape you have. Later in the episode, the pink leopard dress is an improvement, although I don’t know many 14-year old women who are the Creative Director for a retail brand.

 

But if Gray dropped the ball this week, Jeremy punted it over the goalpost and screamed, “I’m a fashionable male!” while doing so. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bowtie every now and then… but I truly believe they should make an appearance every now and then. Don’t over do it son. But as you can see, Jeremy was only loving the bowties this week. AND he committed a cardinal sin in male fashion: he wore a white tie (1). I refuse to acknowledge the existence of white neckties unless today happens to be 2002. 

The bowtie collection, while fierce, needs a holiday after this episode, Jeremy. When you’re standing next to guys like Carter, you look like a douche (2). Maybe I pick on Jeremy because I have an unreasonable distrust of men with blonde hair that shines with the brilliance of one thousand suns (3). At any rate, it’s refreshing to see the straight men on a fashion-based show throw themselves into outfits that are trying too hard (4), rather than the gay male characters. I mean, remember Ugly Betty? Dark days for gay community, my friends. Dark, chintzy filled days. 


See, Carter gets it – and my swoon of the week for his dapper ensembles. His little scarf pop under that oatmeal pullover is a fantastic touch, but I’m really sold on his academic number on the right. A nice olive cardigan thoughtfully unbuttoned at the bottom, paired with a tie and newsboy cap? Oh yeah you did.

 

So, how does Jane intro herself into the episode this week? By barging into a staff meeting and asking if teen model sensation Piper Grace is really coming to Donovan Decker. Girl, I know you’re still in high school and all, but if I leapt into a meeting my boss was holding to be all, “Oh my god, are we really going to work with that client!?”, I might as do it while I’m holding a box filled with my personal belongings. Not professional.

However, your wardrobe is consistently more fashionable and naturally stylish compared to the rest of Donovan Decker, so you can stay. Although you’ll probably drain their health plan if you keep wearing oversized necklaces. How is your back these days? Any odd spasms?

 

Ah yes, here’s the teen model we’ve been waiting for. Of course, the only way for her to enter the show is a dramatic camera pan to an illuminated slim figure in jeans and simple top. Oh models – how do they do it?

Piper’s storyline is the usual “teen model who just wants to have fun and act her age” business. She grew up too fast, has been working since she was 13, and envies “real” kids who go to “real” school. You know, something tells me that if Piper wasn’t just field tripping it to class with Jane and Billy, she’d hate “real” school. Sure, the grass is always greener, but at least she saw grass around the world and… mowed it. I’m not sure how far I can take that metaphor, but check out that ring in the centre photo! You could serve a banquet on that bad boy.

 

My favourite “bad girl” moment for Piper was when she manages to find a roving pack of headbangers in the lavish hotel where Donovan Decker put her up. Jane and Billy have a conference in the bathroom about how she’s “out of control” because she wants to get into the mini-bar when suddenly a party breaks out. How? Piper invites people she met in the hallway. You don’t meet people like this in the hallway of the Plaza, OK? Did you hear that writers? It. Doesn’t. Happen.

 

After finding out Jane’s double life secret, Piper blackmails her way into going to school for the day. And this is what she wore:

Nothing too scandalous, except when you consider that Jane (in an adorable explosion of colour) is considered an outcast, it’s a little much. Piper essentially pulled a Lady Godiva for these kids. If they couldn’t handle Billy pre conservative makeover, how are they going to deal with a doe-eyed leggy blonde who’s dressed like she has moves like Jagger?


Keeping it real this week, Ben was giving me a weird sense of anxiety that I couldn’t shake until I realized he looks almost identical to a close friend of mine. And I couldn’t understand why I felt Ben was missing a mustache and novelty t-shirt collection until this episode. What tipped me off? The heart meltingly cute grin he threw down. Sure, he’s limited to sensible sweaters, but Ben has a sense of style. Nowhere near as developed as his sister, but at least he’s consistent. And really really cute.

 

OK – here’s the unforgivable crime of fashion Billy committed. I’ll give you a moment to figure it out yourself…

It’s the cargo pants. Or combats. Or whatever. Either way, they need to go. I hate them. Billy, your shirt is doing this gross Seinfeld poof when you have it tucked, and the cargos are making your legs wider than your waist. If I had any throwing wine left, it’d be all over your face right now. Your white shirt and denim combo is totally fine, but you’re a wild card. And I don’t like that.


Question: does Nick feel emotions, or is he a jock-bot programmed to smile when there is a lull in conversation? Piper nailed him in cute bit of self-awareness by the writers by saying Nick’s the “handsome jock with a heart of gold”. Well, obviously. I’ve got a lifetime of teen comedies under my belt that says Nick doesn’t want to play baseball for the rest of his life – he wants to be seen as a smart, creative individual. Listen bro, if your hair is anything to go by, you’re not meant to be a creative individual. Just accept your fate as a high-school gym teacher who also coaches baseball and we’ll move on. 

 

Oh look, a high school party! You know who would love this? The out of control teen model who never had a proper childhood. Oh… wait… she’s already dancing by herself and chugging beer out of her breasts. Yeah, that’s how I remember high school.

The scene where everyone just watches her dance is kind of unnerving. Not one guy was ready to man up and dance with her? No one dances at this school? And am I seeing the same clothes on these kids as they wore in school earlier that day? Really? No one got dressed up for a party? Get out now Piper – and take Jane with you.

 

I think the best accessory spotting this week was Jane’s name ring. So petite, so gold, and so street – I loved it. I could never pull off a name ring because cramming “Anthony” onto a subtle piece of jewelry is never going to happen.

 

I’m going to pay more attention to Jane’s accessories – they’re the heart of her wardrobe – although she’s still sporting the pain-inducing necklaces, as seen above.

 

BT dubs, I think two 16-year old kids who can’t even get out of bed without drinking coffee are going to have some serious heart problems by their early 20s. That’s a little too Toddlers & Tiaras for me.

 

So the moral this week was that Jane needs boundaries and to stop acting like she’s an adult, even though she’s the most responsible 16-year old in the world because she balances a demanding job, secret life, maintains good grades and still manages to have a social life. Oh, and something about being true to yourself. Because when your snobby girlfriend’s buddies call you trash in front of the whole school…

…you go at that insult hard.